Highly-Qualified Foreigners to Face Easier Visa Formalities in China

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Nov. 7 – China’s Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security (MHRSS) and four other departments of the Chinese government jointly promulgated the “Circular on Issues of Facilitating Visas and Residence Permits for Highly-Qualified Foreigners’ Entry into China (MHRSS Circular [2012] No. 57, hereafter referred to as the ‘Circular’)” on September 28, 2012.

The key measures of the Circular are as follows:

  • Highly-qualified foreigners who need multiple temporary entries are eligible to apply for five-year long-term multiple entry visas that allow entry into China unlimited times on the condition that each stay is less than 180 days.
  • Highly-qualified foreigners who need to work or stay longer in China are eligible to apply for a work visa or a residence permit for foreigners, which would be effective for two to five years.
  • Highly-qualified foreigners under the existing exit and entry laws and regulations can be granted permanent residence.
  • Visiting residential expert certificates and foreign expert certificates will be granted to qualified applicants.

These measures apply to highly-qualified foreigners, their foreign spouses, and their foreign children who are under 18 years old, or the foreign spouses and foreign children of returned highly-qualified Chinese nationals. Both of these highly-qualified foreigners mentioned above shall be covered in key official overseas high-end talent introduction plans, such as the “Thousand Talents Plan,” which has been initiated by the central government of China.

Highly-qualified individuals who are not covered in any key official introduction plans shall follow the rules under the “Circular on Issues of Facilitating Entry and Residence Regarding Green Channels for Returned Highly-Qualified Foreigners (MHRSS Circular [2009] No. 113)” and other relevant regulations.

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